The “Music School” at Belhaven Hill is surely one of the largest and best equipped of any Prep School in the UK.
There are 8 Music Practice Rooms, each with a piano, a fully equipped Percussion Suite and a Recording Studio.
Newly added for 2020 is a large Keyboard Suite with 16 brand new electric keyboards. All pupils are taught weekly keyboard lessons as part of the curriculum.
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All this is in addition to the main music classroom and rehearsal space. This large room can seat over 100 people comfortably, with 60 chairs permanently set up for rehearsals. It has a large Yamaha grand piano, a stage piano, and desks for 30 pupils face the interactive whiteboard for when music theory or composing is taught.
Nearly every pupil at Belhaven learns at least one musical instrument, in addition to keyboard. Several have lessons in two instruments.
Lessons are available in:
Piano, Voice, Strings, Woodwind,
Chanter, Bagpipes, Pipe Band Drumming,
Guitar and all Percussion instruments.
There are ten Visiting Music Teachers, many of whom are in school several days in week. The Music School is a very busy place throughout the day, from early morning practice at 7.30am through to the evenings at 8.30pm. The vast majority of pupils are entered for public music exams with the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. These are taken in our Music School three times a year.
At Belhaven there are numerous ways in which a child can perform, either individually or as part of a music group.
Weekly music groups include our Belhaven Pipe Band, Chanter Group, Guitar Band, Strings Group,Belhaven Girls’ Choir, Belhaven Boys’ Choir (which has a waiting list to join) and a School Choir of boys and girls in which half the school are involved.
There are weekly opportunities to perform in assemblies, at which a traditional hymn is sung, three times a week. Our Friday assembly begins with a solo piper and drummer every week, for which the children work on a rota basis to perform, and there is occasionally an anthem sung by one of our choirs. The Pipe Band perform regularly at school events and functions, and always at our Sunday morning services, either in school or at the local churches in Dunbar. Either the Boys’ Choir or Girls’ Choir lead the Sunday worship with a full Eucharist Setting in the churches, and always an Anthem.
The annual Mansfield Music Cup is a competition between the four Patrols and is always one of the highlights of the year. Every child in the school is involved. There are many other regular concerts and services including the Carol Services, a Spring Concert and a fine Summer Concert, in both of which nearly every pupil is involved. Other informal concerts take place throughout the year.
There are plans in the near future for a Music Tour for the choirs and pipe band.